It is good to see that Westpac seem to have their reaction to the operational risk event they suffered in New Zealand about right.
…the employee responsible for their accidental windfall was so distressed by their error she was undergoing counselling, TVNZ reported.
Westpac said it was concerned at the attention the employee, who TVNZ said had more than 30 years of banking experience, was receiving and appealed for privacy.
“The impact of this episode is being felt by all of our employees, who are good people just doing their jobs,” a spokesman told TVNZ.
“What should be remembered is the loss from this episode did not happen because of the error, but because of the behaviour of individuals who have taken advantage of the error.”
The real cause of this problem is that the system allowed it to
happen. Where a system allows an error like this then someone,
somewhere, is going to suffer from it. Employees who make this sort of
error should be counselled, perhaps given some additional training and
then supported, if needed, when they get back.
A few pertinant questions. How can an employee, even one with 30 years’ experience, solely authorise the disbursement of $10m? Why did the bank’s systems not have a good sense check in there? Why did the system not add a further check when a service station owner asked to withdraw and/or transfer multi-millions of dollars?
I would expect the internal investigation to be a long one, focussing not on the employee but multiple failures in the core banking system.